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Greek Mathematics

I. Introductory

(a) Mathematics and its Divisions

(i.) Origin of the Name

Anatolius ap. Her. Def., ed. Heiberg 160. 8–162. 2

Ἐκ τῶν Ἀνατολίου . . .

“Ἀπὸ τίνος δὲ μαθηματικὴ ὠνομάσθη;

“Οἱ μὲν ἀπὸ τοῦ Περιπάτου φάσκοντες ῥητορικῆς μὲν καὶ ποιητικῆς συμπάσης τε τῆς δημώδους μουσικῆς δύνασθαί τινα συνεῖναι καὶ μὴ μαθόντα, τὰ δὲ καλούμενα ἰδίως μαθήματα οὐδένα εἰς εἴδησιν λαμβάνειν μὴ οὐχὶ πρότερον ἐν μαθήσει γενόμενον τούτων, διὰ τοῦτο μαθηματικὴν καλεῖσθαι τὴν περὶ τούτων θεωρίαν ὑπελάμβανον. θέσθαι δὲ λέγονται τὸ τῆς μαθηματικῆς ὄνομα ἰδιαίτερον ἐπὶ μόνης γεωμετρίας καὶ ἀριθμητικῆς οἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ Πυθαγόρου· τὸ γὰρ πάλαι χωρὶς ἑκατέρα τούτων ὠνομάζετο, κοινὸν δὲ οὐδὲν ἦν ἀμφοῖν ὄνομα.”

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Introductory

I. Introductory

(a) Mathematics and its Divisions

(i.) Origin of the Name

Anatolius, cited by Heron, Definitions, ed. Heiberg 160. 8–162. 2

From the works of Anatoliusa . . .

“Why is mathematics so named?

“The Peripatetics say that rhetoric and poetry and the whole of popular musicb can be understood without any course of instruction, but no one can acquire knowledge of the subjects called by the special name mathematics unless he has first gone through a course of instruction in them; and for this reason the study of these subjects was called mathematics.c The Pythagoreans are said to have given the special name mathematics only to geometry and arithmetic; previously each had been called by its separate name, and there was no name common to both.”d

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.greek_mathematical_works_i_introductory.1939